This Week in Milwaukee
Tommy Stinson, Hot Water Music and Bruno Mars
THURSDAY, MAY 19
Tommy Stinson w/ Loose Cannons, Dave Hause and The Etiquette @ Club Garibaldi, 8:30 p.m.
Former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson hasn't had trouble finding work since that legendary Minneapolis rock 'n' roll band broke up. Stinson has now been a member of Guns N' Roses for even longer than Duff McKagan was, touring with Axl Rose's rejiggered version of the group since 1998 and playing on Chinese Democracy, and since 2005 Stinson has also been a member of Soul Asylum. Stinson is planning a follow-up to his 2004 solo debut, the hard-rock-leaning Village Gorilla Head, and in advance of his upcoming album he is touring with a band that includes two Milwaukeeans: Jon Phillip and Tim Schweiger.
FRIDAY, MAY 20
Donnie Darko @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Before he became one of the country's most bankable stars, Seth Rogen appeared in Donnie Darko as the portly sidekick to a switchblade-wielding psychopath played by that one guy who was in Phantom Planet but wasn't Jason Schwartzman. And that bit of casting is actually one of the least weird things about Richard Kelly's 2001 cult film, a druggy mishmash of '80s teen dramedy and time-travel tragedy that launched the career of star Jake Gyllenhaal. Kelly has so far proved unable to repeat his film's critical success, irking critics with his reviled 2007 sci-fi drama Southland Tales and leaving audiences cold with 2009's The Box—though both of those films were better than S. Darko, the Donnie Darko sequel that went straight to DVD in 2009 without Kelly's involvement . The Turner Hall Ballroom screens Donnie Darko as part of its "Beer and a Movie" film series at 8 p.m., following a happy hour that begins at 6:30 p.m.
John Witherspoon @ Jokerz Comedy Club, 7 and 10:30 p.m.
Since his beginnings on "The Richard Pryor Show," comedian John Witherspoon has played bit parts in dozens of movies and sitcoms, including I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, House Party, The Ladies Man, "The Wayans Bros." and "The Tracy Morgan Show," but he'll always be best known for his role as Ice Cube's dog-catching father in Friday and its two sequels. As part of his stand-up routine, Witherspoon often quotes memorable lines from his many movie roles. (Multiple performances through Sunday, May 22.)
SATURDAY, MAY 21
Bon Jovi @ The Bradley Center, 7:30 p.m.
Perhaps the most enduring of the '80s hair bands, Bon Jovi has made some unexpected records over the past decade, going acoustic for 2003's This Left Feels Right and going country—with great commercial results—for their 2007 Nashville record Lost Highway. The band's latest, 2009's The Circle, is a return to the rock guitars and oversized choruses of their heyday, updated with topical lyrics about the Great Recession. Bon Jovi will be down a man for this latest round of touring; guitarist Richie Sambora checked into rehab last month.
Maceo Parker @ Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 8 p.m.
Maceo Parker is one of funk's pioneering saxophonists, most famous for his '60s work with James Brown, where he laid down wild, sweatdrenched solos on songs like "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "Sex Machine." After some scattered side albums with other members of James Brown's band and off-and-on collaborations with George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, Parker settled into a full-time solo career in the '90s, recording albums that touch on jazz and soul but are mostly rooted in his signature funk. His current shows are heavy on James Brown classics and often run over two hours long.
SUNDAY, MAY 22
Sister Sin w/ Ahab's Ghost and Lying Still @ Mad Planet, 8 p.m.
Fronted by a woman every bit as tough as her male counterparts, Sweden's Sister Sin channels the vivacious energy and balls-tothe-wall braggadocio of '80s metal acts like Mötley Crüe and Twisted Sister, with singer Liv Jagrell's head-banging howls aggressively complementing the band's double bass pedals and ardent guitar riffs. Since forming in 2002, Sister Sin has released three albums for Victory Records, the latest of which is 2010's True Sound of the Underground.
Danzig w/ DevilDriver and 2Cents @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Danzig's 1988 Rick Rubin-produced selftitled debut is a masterpiece of metal-punk fusion that yielded one of the most wondrously ridiculous metal singles of the '80s,"Moth er," the song where singer Glenn Danzig menacingly threatens a would-be enemy's mom (he's just that much of a badass). Danzig's '90s albums fell victim to some unflattering, ugly nü-metal production, but the band's period releases since (including 2004's Circle of Snakes and last year's Deth Red Sabaoth) have been nice returns to the rowdy and raw sound of the group's unimpeachable debut.
Hot Water Music @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Though the group has endured several breakups and reunions since their formation in 1993, punk-rock mavericks Hot Water Music continue to carry a loyal cult audience. On albums like 1998's Fuel for the Hate Game and 2001's A Flight and a Crash, Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard exchange husky vocals over rough and heavy post-hardcore riffs. The band is said to be at work recording a new album, which would be their first new material since 2004's The New What Next.
TUESDAY, MAY 24
Bruno Mars w/ Janelle Monáe @ The Rave, 7 p.m.
No musician had a bigger breakout year in 2010 than Bruno Mars. In addition to cowriting a couple of the year's biggest pop singles, including B.o.B.'s "Nothin' on You" (on which he also sang) and Cee-Lo's "Fuck You," the Hawaiian born singer-songwriter also scored a couple of No. 1 hits under his own name: the sentimental "Just the Way You Are" and the melodramatic "Grenade," both from his debut Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Mars' tour mate Janelle Monáe hasn't enjoyed that kind of commercial success, but the soul singer's 2010 full-length debut The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III) was one of last year's best-reviewed albums, an epic mélange of funk, hip-hop and glam-rock that plays out as an eccentric science-fiction fantasy.
Sepultura w/ Keep Of Kalessin, Hate, Neuraxis and Bonded By Blood @ The Rave, 7 p.m.
Easily the most successful Brazilian heavy metal band in history, Sepultura combines the dark imagery of death metal and the hard-hitting instrumental blitzes of thrash metal. After a triumphant run of unforgivingly heavy records in the late '80s and early '90s that established the group as one of the most acclaimed metal bands of the era, Sepultura faced a commercial backlash following singer Max Cavalera's acrimonious departure from the group in 1997. Many fans had all but written off the group, but Sepultura has gone on to make some strong records over the last decade with replacement singer Derrick Green, including 2009's A-Lex, a heated concept album inspired by A Clockwork Orange.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25
Eisley w/ The Narrative and Christie DuPree @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Eisley's 2005 debut album Room Noises was as perky and optimistic of an indie-pop record as you'd expect from a band comprised of four young siblings and their cousin, but Eisley's songwriting has taken darker turns as the band has matured. The group's latest record, The Valley, was recorded in the wake of singer Sherri DuPree's divorce from New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert and guitarist Chauntelle DuPree's broken engagement to Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazzara. Where Sherri DuPree once wrote her songs in fairy-tale couplets, she dwells on betrayal and heartache on The Valley, though the newfound hurt in her lyrics never completely overruns the band's trademark sweetness.